Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
I was highly offended today. I saw something that slighted me in a big way and I wasn’t expecting it. The irony of this is that I’ve been studying about how holding on to offenses will cause strife, bitterness, division, resentment, unforgiveness and even hatred.
As soon as I thought about how this thing offended me, I caught myself; Nope, I will NOT be offended by this, not today. I refused to allow it to take me outside my character, refused to let the enemy get anything from me today. It’s what he wants, it’s how he is tricking us into sin in this season.
What is offense? Greek: skandalon -The name of the part of the trap on which the bait hung that lured the animal into the trap; A hindrance or a stumbling block.
When we are easily offended, or when we hold on to these things, we open a door for the enemy to come in and wreak havoc in our lives and in relationships with others. And trust me, he WILL come in and take advantage of everything. The condition of your heart will be exposed by offense.
How do we combat it?
First of all, there must be a self examination. Are you holding on to unforgiveness? Proverbs 4:23 warns us to guard our hearts! When you’re offended by something, whether it’s justifiable or not, don’t allow the seed of offense to take root. Psalm 119:165 – Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.
Strive not to BE offensive. Yes, that means, you can’t do the things to other people that you hate having done to you. 2 Corinthians 6:3 says that we are not to put any obstruction in anyone’s way. We should seek to be at peace with people, knowing that no one will agree with us always. Selfishness, pride and immaturity is at the heart of most offenses.
Finally, FORGIVE. Regardless of the offense, have a heart that forgives. I heard Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church comment that Christians are the most easily offended people in the world. This is in direct conflict of what we believe! We believe in and serve a God that sent his ONLY Son, Jesus to die for EVERY offense that anyone in this world could ever commit. BUT YET, we are quick to be offended and even quicker to retaliate.
I know what you’re thinking; it’s easier said than done. Trust me, I’ve had to forgive under so many circumstances, that I know only God has given me the power to forgive. In my strength, it would not have been possible. I’ve had to ‘suck up’ my feelings, put on my big girl pants and allow God to be seen in my actions and reactions. IT IS HARD, because our flesh wants the final say, we want to be in control and we want to see our offenders punished immediately.